Closers (...by Canon)

Janet Sperstad, program director of Meeting and Event Management at Madison College in Wisconsin, has spent her career working toward more purposeful meetings. This fall, she released a white paper co-written with Amanda Cecil of Indiana University entitled, “Purposeful Meetings: How to Plan With Deeper Meaning, Innovation and Insight In Mind.” We talked with her about her findings.

As the former chair and CEO of the global hotel and travel company Carlson, Marilyn Carlson Nelson has spent a lifetime helping companies enhance relationships with employees and clients through incentive travel experiences. We spoke with her recently about the power of travel to build strong bonds. A lot has changed in the travel industry over the past several decades, but Carlson says in many ways, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Anthony Iannarino believes not only was Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of a sales manager in “Glengarry Glen Ross” brilliant, it was on target - sort of. The author, blogger and sales professor says “always be closing” is a mantra that makes sense when you look at it right.

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Downtown Project (DTP) is Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s effort to rebuild Downtown Las Vegas into the most community-focused large city in the world. He invested $350 million of his own money, started recruiting entrepreneurs in 2012 and put a five-year timeline on the project.

In 1984, Jim Koch, then in his mid-30s, made the leap from working in management consulting at Boston Consulting Group to start Boston Beer Co. The company, makers of Samuel Adams, rented space and equipment from other breweries for more than a decade before Koch purchased his first brewery. Today, Koch is a billionaire and Boston Beer Co. is the second-largest craft brewery in America.

Mike Derezin, vice president of sales for LinkedIn Sales Solutions, says in an era in which social sellers realize 66 percent greater quota attainment than those using traditional prospecting techniques (a Sales Benchmark Index statistic), if you’re sales team doesn’t adopt social selling strategies, it may not be selling for long.

Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, has explored the irrationality of people’s decision-making processes in best-selling books. In his latest book, “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivation,” he explains that what drives people is far more complicated than most of us understand – and why business leaders would be wise to take a closer look.

His father Rick taught a generation of public television viewers how to take in Europe. Now, Andy Steves, 29, has a successful tour guide business targeted to millennials and a new guidebook of his own. We talked about the incomparable value of travel and how his generation likes to go about it.

“If it involves arranging words in rows with occasional punctuation, then I’ve given it a bash,” says Jonathan Crossfield, a Sydney-based marketing consultant. On his entertaining and informative blog, Crossfield sounds off on a wide range of ideas regarding using words to build your brand. We focused our discussion on content marketing.

With his new book, “Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business,” Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times business writer Charles Duhigg has followed up his bestseller on habits with a close look at the choices the most productive among us make that the rest of us don’t.

Lori Richardson learned her first lessons about sales at an early age. In the 1980s, she boldly stepped into the male-dominated world of technology sales because she was a single mother who couldn’t make ends meet as a teacher. She was a leading sales rep who serviced national corporate accounts before shifting to building sales teams and running a corporate university for a Boston-based company. In 2002, she founded Score More Sales, the B2B sales consultancy and training company she still runs today. With this issue’s cover story focused on women in sales leadership and B2B sales roles, it seemed timely to have Richardson share her thoughts on a wide range of topics.

You don’t stop daily to notice the calendar you received from your Realtor or the refrigerator magnets from the neighborhood pizza place. But when you need to reach that business, you know instantly where to turn. Marketing strategies have changed drastically over the centuries, but as Paul Bellantone, president and CEO of the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) explains, promotional products have always produced stellar results.

To date, technological advancements have always created better jobs and improved the well-being of humanity.

In November 2013, Donald Guardian became the first Republican to be elected mayor of Atlantic City in 23 years. Within months after taking office, Gardner, a reluctant candidate to begin with, was hit with the closing of four of the city’s casinos, including the Revel Casino Hotel, which cost $2.4 billion to build and was open only two years before it closed.

Ben Parr, venture capitalist , startup coach, former coeditor of Mashable, author and public speaker, lives at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship. In his new book, “Captivology,” Parr identifies seven “captivation triggers” that he says are the essential tools for capturing attention for your ideas and products.

Ken Schmidt participated in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history. The longtime motorcycle enthusiast’s association with Harley-Davidson Motor Company began in 1985, when he was asked to work with the then-struggling manufacturer to help restore the company’s image and create demand for its motorcycles. By the time he left in 1997 to be a partner in a Chicago-based marketing firm, Harley-Davidson was one of the most visible and frequently reported-on companies in the world.

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